Very exciting day. Tomorrow 4 1/2 month old Swagger and his cousin Raven start their first ever “Advances in Dog Training” and “Critical Elements course (formerly known as puppy camp). I am certain neither puppy will have any issue with the skills required (we both have an advantage here) but it is the environment with the other puppies that will be the question.

Either way it is going to be a great learning experience for both puppies and trainers.

My goals for camp are;

A) To help Swagger  find lots of joy in everything we do.

B) To help him find the joy in not barking in his crate when he can not see me:).

C) Get a chance to recall him away from other puppies (only if that opportunity presents itself).

D) Work on our consistent value for the reinforcement zone at my side. Mr. Swagger does have a lot of  Border Collie “eye” and therefore loves to herd me when I move or he thinks I am about to move. Just need more joy in being in tight really.

I am sure Penny will also be working on her own “To Do” list with her beautiful puppy “Raven.” If you remember Raven was the puppy I arranged to come in from the UK. Her sire is Feature’s littermate making her and Swagger first cousins.

I imagine Penny will include a lot of value for good choices around the RZ as well. Like many Border Collies, little miss Raven has a strong chase instinct making her slightly motion sensitive around other dogs.

Luckily for me Swagger, like his mother, didn’t have much of a problem with that, making recalls like the one below much easier to train then say Encore at the same age. Encore was incredibly motion driven so would lock onto movement and off of me at any given moment.


I guess we all have are challenges with our pups, that is what keeps it all so interesting for me both as a puppy trainer and as an instructor helping others.

Today I am very grateful for the chance to be a student with Mr. Waggie-bum (well, I am a teaching student as I will still be doing all of my regular lecture duties here at camp).